ORANGEBURG, S.C. – A man who sold drugs from the South Carolina home where his two teenage daughters and two other people were killed in July has been lying to deputies and likely knows who killed them, a sheriff said Friday.
But a lawyer for Christopher Wright later said in a bond hearing that Williams has given information to four different detectives and taken a lie detector test because he has no idea who the killers are.
Wright was charged Friday with three counts of child endangerment, trafficking cocaine and obstruction of justice, said Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell. A visibly frustrated Ravenell then called a news conference to say he is taking this case personally, especially since his deputies haven't been able to pinpoint a suspect in the deaths of the teens, Wright's fiancee and a man.
The shooting deaths occurred at Wright's home in the community of Holy Hill, about 60 miles northwest of Charleston. There is evidence in the home that the killers were looking for drugs and weapons, prosecutor David Pascoe said.
"This case is directly tied to the way he was living — drug dealing," Ravenell said.
Wright, 36, was denied bond at a hearing Friday in which Pascoe said text messages showed Wright was selling drugs hours before the killings.
Wright was arrested on a drug charge the day after the July 15 shootings, which also left his 8-year-old son critically wounded and in the hospital. Wright was released on a $30,000 bail, and immediately began selling drugs again instead of going to his fiancee's funeral or visiting his son, who was shot in the head but survived, Pascoe said.
Ravenell said he thinks Wright knows a lot about what happened, but has told deputies nothing so far. "He has since day one been uncooperative with law enforcement. He has lied about the investigation and he lawyered up. He doesn't want to talk to us about the investigation of his kids," the sheriff said.
Wright's lawyer said that account isn't right. Williams told the magistrate at a bond hearing that Wright has risked his own freedom and incriminating himself with the information he has given in the case. Shortly before the bond hearing, someone told him that he has given Wright a ride to the hospital several times to try and see his surviving son, Williams said.
Wright wasn't home when the shootings happened, but did return to discover the bodies, his attorney said.
"He was the first to come on the scene. He was the first to call 911. He had to see this unfortunate event," Williams said.
Shamekia Sanders, 17; Tamara Perry, 14; Krystal Hutto, 28; were killed with bullets to the head, Pascoe said. Jerome Butler, 50, also was killed.
At his news conference, Ravenell brought in a giant bulletin board with stories about each of the victims that he keeps in his office.
"This is a reminder to me," the sheriff said. "I take this personally."